Open Africa
Open Africa

Baviaanskloof Route


Attractions

Steytlerville Museum
The Steylerville Museum, situated in the town of Steytlerville was initiated in 1967, and is a small community run museu...


Features

   Accommodation

Below is a list of accommodation establishments along this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Glencoe Self-Catering Chalets
  Glencoe offers accommodation in three fully equipped, self-service chalets which sleeps 2/4, 8 and 10 people res...

Grootnek Guest Farm
Grootnek offers three cosy, fully equipped self-catering cottages between plum orchards. The cottages sleep 16 guests in...

Haaspoort Bushcamp Private Nature Reserve
This bushcamp accommodates 10 persons in four privately located, thatched en-suite chalets with timber decks overlooking...

Dolphinview Guesthouse and Info Jeffrey's Bay
Dolphin View Guesthouse is located in the Noorse Kloof Nature Reserve in a peaceful, safe and quiet area not far from sh...

Hancke Holiday Apartments
Hancke Holiday Apartments offers one 2-bedroom self-catering unit, four 1-bedroom units and a bachelors unit opposite th...

Albertspark Guest Farm
The cottage is fully equipped and beautifully restored, located in the shady garden of the homestead. Dating back to the...

Aquarius B&B
Aquarius B&B offers five en-suite bedrooms that accommodate two people. Each room has its own television a...

Aruba Breeze Self-Catering Flats
Aruba Breeze offers three holiday self-catering flats. Each unit can take up to six people and is supplied with all the...

Assegaaibosch Country Lodge
Assegaaibosch Country Lodge offers 4-star superior graded accommodation with two restaurants, an upmarket bar, conferenc...

Bakkrans Accommodation
Bakkrans campsite is located beneath a dramatic cliff overhang (on the owner's suggestion: "don't bother bringing a tent...

Baviaans West Guesthouse
Elmarine encourages visitors to ‘come and enjoy the traditional South African hospitality of this Little Karoo far...

Baviaanskloof Guest Cottages
The main house was previously the living quarters of the farmer in the area who had 10 children. The house was also know...

Baviaanskloof Lodge
The Baviaanskloof Lodge is situated in unspoiled surroundings at the entrance to Loeriekloof in Cambria. The area hosts...

Baviaanskloof Uitspan
  Camping facilities: There are three shady campsites, all with 220v electricity, water, lights and a large outsi...

Beach Cabanas B&B and Self-Catering Motel
Beach Cabanas offer self-catering accommodation with fully serviced units. Each unit has an en-suite bathroom, fully equ...

Blue Hill Escape
Blue Hill Escape Nature Reserve lies to the west of the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area and shares two borders with the re...

Bo-Kloof B&B
  Kolgans Cottage: Kolgans Cottage is situated by a dam between acacia trees with lots of birds and spectacular m...

Bruintjieskraal Campsite
Bruintjieskraal Campsite offers 10 spacious campsites next to Groot Rivier, each with their own ablution (flush toilet a...

Cedar Guesthouse and Retreat
The Cedar Guesthouse and Retreat is situated on the Matjiesfontein Farm. The farm is off the beaten track in the western...

Finchley Farm Cottages
This beautifully restored farm cottage is located in the shady garden of the homestead. The cottage, dating back to the...

Gamtoos B&B and Self-Catering
The most southerly baobab trees in the world are found in Patensie. Approximately 30 years ago the late Dr Archer, who w...

Gonjah Chalet, Campsite and 4x4 Route
This fully equipped chalet is situated in a tranquil kloof among indigenous forest. The chalet has two bedrooms with one...

Hartebeest Post
Hartebeest Post is located on the Hartebees River Road 19km outside Uniondale en route towards the Baviaanskloof Wildern...

Just for Two Cottage
This charming shepherd's cottage has been renovated using the natural materials and building methods of the kloof and is...

Louterwater Landgoed
Louterwater Estate is a fruit farm with organized tours through the packing shed and orchards. There are also two beauti...

Lyngenfjord Guesthouse
Lyngenfjord Guesthouse offers six rooms, all with shared DSTV and other convenient facilities. The guesthouse has a salt...

Marlu Farm Stay
Marlu Farm Stay offer self-catering farm accommodation in two spacious, fully equipped restored steads. One has three be...

Mentorskraal Country Estate
  A guesthouse with six double en-suite rooms, a spacious lounge, lapa and braai (barbeque) facilities. All rooms...

Mie Sorelle
Mie Sorelle offers four two bedroom flats that can sleep up to six people. These flats are self-catering, each with a pr...

On the Bay Guesthouse
On the Bay is a 4-star B&B with eight comfortable rooms. Facilities: Jacuzzi; Darts; Pool table; and Hug...

Oyster Bay Lodge
Oyster Bay Lodge offers a calm ‘eco-tourism’ centre of extended nature possibilities. It is nestled between...

Pie's Cottage B&B
Pie's Cottage B&B has two double en-suite units under thatch, one with full kitchen for self-catering purposes. It i...

Pinnaquin Holiday Apartments
Pinnaquin Holiday Apartments offer quality self-catering units, situated close to the beach and one minute away from sho...

Rietrivier Accomodation/Makkedaatgrot
Situated 50km from Willowmore, this is a completely different accommodation experience. This unique accommodation consis...

Royal Hotel Steytlerville
The Royal Hotel, dating from 1897, has a tranquil atmosphere with typical old-fashioned rooms. Should you have a group t...

Seestêr Strandhuis (Beach House)
Seestêr Strandhuis is a beachfront property situated on a quiet street, within walking distance from the main beac...

The Cottages Guesthouse and Tea Garden
The cottages is a charming building, originally built in the 1800's as several cottages, and tastefully converted so as...

The Weavers B&B
Weavers' B&B facilities are well liked by overseas visitors yet offered at reasonable, affordable local rates....

The Willow Historical Guesthouse
Experience an important piece of South African history in this historic building with Victorian furniture, old world cha...

Tia Ghee Tented Camp
The valley of the Gamtoos River in South Africa's malaria-free Eastern Cape is the western gateway to the Baviaanskloof...

Tobago B&B
Tobago is a 4-star bed and breakfast offering six en-suite guest rooms and one self-catering unit. It is secure, pe...

Two Sparrows @ Bethany
This farm has a beautiful view of the Tsitsikamma. It offers farm-style self-catering accommodation, and an opportunity...

Waterways B&B
Waterways B&B offers two en-suite bedrooms, both with waterfront views. It is a comfortable home stay, with the adva...

Sederkloof Lodge
The ethos of Sederkloof is the tranquil enjoyment of what the spectacular Baviaanskloof has to offer. To enhance the exp...

Semane Lodge @ Mbewu Fields
Semane Lodge is a spacious four bedroom house situated on Mbewu Fields Guest Farm. The farm is easily accessible from th...

Speekhout Treehouse
The Treehouse: The Treehouse sleeps six people in two rooms. The open plan kitchen -living room's couch folds out into...

Keurfontein Country House and Belly Deli
Keurfontein Country House offers accommodation on either B&B, full board or self-catering basis and is famous for it...

Nikalandershoek Guest Cottage
Nikalandershoek Guest Cottage offers accommodation in a fully equipped, 2-bedroom cottage with en-suite bathrooms, open...

Steytlerville Villa Boutique Guesthouse
Steytlerville Villa Boutique Guesthouse offers luxury accommodation at affordable rates. There are three tastefully deco...

Putter's Inn Self-Catering
Putter's Inn is situated next to the Hankey Golf Course. The cottages have 180º views of the golf course and also v...

Die Skoolhuis B&B
Die Skoolhuis B&B is a fully equipped cottage with 6-8 beds situated on a citrus farm. The cottage is situated withi...

House Pinnaquin
House Pinnaquin is a 4-star guesthouse and B&B. It offers nine comfortable rooms, a cosy pub and a lounge area....

Brakkeduine Camp Terrain and 4x4 Route
What started out as a family playground or holiday spot, has grown into a highly rated camp and caravan park, with 4x4 r...

Craggy Burn Guest Farm
Craggy Burn Guest Farm is situated in Hankey, nestled between breathtaking mountains and citrus orchards. There are two...

Kudu Kaya
Kudu Kaya is located in Cambria, 45km from Patensie. The chalets and campsites are both on the farm Ysrivier, owned...

Bergrivier Eco Retreat
Bergrivier Eco Retreat is situated close to the hamlets of Thornhill, Loerie, Hankey and Patensie. The beautiful farm ha...

Bhejane Game Reserve
Bhejane Game Reserve is situated in the Groot River Valley, halfway between Steytlerville and Willowmore.  Bhejane,...

Burrows Hiking & Bush Camp
Burrows Hiking and Bush Camp – “Back to Basics, In touch with nature”. Burrows Bush Camp is a proud p...

Damsedrif Guest Farm
The guesthouse is a restored farmhouse near the farm's homestead. It is ideally equipped for visitors who want to relax...

Die Kraaltjie Guesthouse and Caravan Park
Die Kraaltjie consists of loose standing houses that are fully furnished and include cooking and braai (barbeque) facili...

Die Spinhuisie
Die Spinhuisie is a self-catering bungalow that is fully equipped and can sleep six persons. It is situated in the Cambr...

Diepkloof
Diepkloof is situated in the Kouga Mountains. It has a rugged, rocky-type of beauty. The natural attractions are proteas...

Glenmore 4x4 and Camping
Glenmore is situated on the banks of the Groot River, and has a fully equipped cottage that sleeps six people, as well a...

   Activities

Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Baviaans Heritage Tours
The Baviaanskloof, once South Africa's best kept secret, is steadily becoming better known as one of South Africa's must...

Die Kraaltjie Boerdery
This farm gives visitors the chance to visit and observe farm animals. Products for sale: Quail eggs; Quail meat;...

Kouga Adventures
Kouga Adventures offers quad hire, guided quad trips, guided 4x4 routes, bass fishing trips and guided walking trials.

Kouga Quad Adventures
Kouga Adventures offers abseiling, boat paddling, fishing, walks, mountain biking and guided quad bike tours. Kouga Adve...

Loerie Flower Estates
Loerie Flower Estates is a protea farm with more than 12 different types of leucodendron and leucospecrum species availa...

Tour Guide - Hans Jumat
Hans can't read or write, however has an incredible knowledge of the local flora that he learnt from his parents. Hans k...

Hiking - Sam van der Merwe
Sam has extensive knowledge of hikes in the Langkloof. He has knowledge of: Hiking at Krakeel to a scenic narrow klo...

Pure African Tours
Pure African tours is a 100% black owned company and gives visitors an opportunity to gain an insight into township life...

   Arts & Crafts

Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Mason Wasp Studio
Masonwasp Studio does arts and crafts - "paintings relating to the Baviaanskloof, but not actually tourist painting...

Studio Karoo
Studio Karoo is housed in one of the first buildings established in the town of Steytlerville. The upper level of the ol...

Velwano Community Development
Velwano Community Development is non-profit organization established in 1998. Its focus is on the development of arts an...

   Environment

Below is a list of environmental attractions on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Sewefontein Boerdery Trust
Sewefontein is a 1 355 hectare farm situated in the heart of the Baviaanskloof. The Sewefontein Farm was bought in 2002...

Melmont Honeybush Tea
Melmont is situated north of the Kouga River, on the farm Nooitgedacht. On the farm there are clusters of mountain Honey...

   Food & Drink

Below is a list of restaurants and other food and beverage outlets on this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Grannies Gift and Coffee Shop
Grannies Gift and Coffee Shop is centrally situated in the main road. This gift and coffee shop sells gifts, stationary,...

The Sweaty Dutchman Coffee Shop & Bistro
The Sweaty Dutchman Coffee Shop and Bistro offers the following: Breakfast/lunches for up to 35 people. There are toi...

Tolbos Country Shop and Info Centre
Tolbos is known for its homely hospitality and good old-fashioned value. Local citrus products from surrounding farms ar...

Vero's Restaurant and Take-Aways
Veronica describes how the business started: "My house is situated right next to the road. People and cyclists always s...

Le Chameleon Restaurant
Le Chameleon is a popular South African daytime restaurant. It has been labelled as one of the most popular eateries in...

Oudebosch Farmstall
Dewald explains his business in his own words: “We offer tourist information, sell curios and homemade jam and pr...

Mieta se Winkel
Mieta se Winkel is a small spaza-type shop, and is an interesting stopping place. Products for sale: Dried fruit; F...

   Services

Below is a list of services on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

R62 Langkloof Tourism
Gerrie and Hettie Schoeman originally come from Musina in the Limpopo Province. They are involved in various hospitality...

St Francis Bay Tourism
St Francis Bay Tourism is the local tourism office, promoting all activities and accommodation in the area. Items like T...

Gamtoos Tourism
Gamtoos Tourism can assist travellers with tourism information related to the area. They can also assist with bookings f...

Hankey Tourism Info Centre
The Hankey Tourism Info Centre's mission is to promote and market the Gamtoos River Valley and surrounding towns in the...

Siyakhula Hankey Project
Siyakhula Hankey Dual Purpose Project was established in July 2002. The purpose of the programme is to keep people busy...

 

Overview
History
Map
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Situated between the Kouga and Baviaans Mountains in the Eastern Cape, the Baviaanskloof, meaning “Valley of Baboons”, is the third-largest nature conservation area in South Africa. The route encompasses the broader Baviaanskloof area, including a World Heritage Site, incorporates the towns of Hankey, Patensie, Willowmore, Steytlerville and the surrounding areas. Further south east, the towns of Jeffrey's Bay, St Francis Bay, Cape St Francis, Oyster Bay and Humansdorp offer a coastal gateway to the Baviaanskloof. Linking these towns with the Baviaanskloof Mega-Reserve is the Langkloof Route, which includes the rural towns from Kareedouw and Joubertina.

The Baviaanskloof Route is an eclectic mix of nature, culture, agriculture and communities. The route has seven diverse sub-routes (or regions), each with unique characteristics and visitors are encouraged to see the Baviaanskloof as a destination where they can spend at least a week.

The main road through the Baviaanskloof is a narrow, steep, gravel-surfaced, winding road through mountainous terrain. Many streams are crossed while driving the length of the kloof and in the rainy season the rivers can become impassable. Visitors should therefore check road accessibility before arriving. There are no refuelling points in the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve. Visitors are advised to refuel before entering the reserve.

Reasons to visit:

The Baviaanskloof Route is in a malaria free area, where the climate is pleasant all year round and is one of the few places visitors can still swim in clear mountain pools and drink from fresh river streams. The region is rich in tradition and local people have lots of stories to share over a plate of traditional fare. Donkey carts can still be seen traversing the dirt roads and on steep passes along parts of the Baviaanskloof. 

The area has diverse flora and beautiful scenery. The people are down to earth and friendly and visitors are treated like family. 

The region is blessed with numerous natural caves and rock shelters many of which were inhabited by early KhoiSan people over thousands of years. The shelters are home to remarkably well-preserved archaeological deposits and fine examples of rock art. 

The route envisions that the entire community should benefit from tourism and therefore a number of development projects have been launched. These projects aim to provide income for unemployed people and assist them to acquiring skills. Many of the established guesthouses, farms and B&Bs on the route are involved in community development in one way or another, either through training, job creation and other social activities.

The oldest evidence of people living in the greater Baviaanskloof region comes in the form of large stone tools which can be found throughout the region, dating back some 1 million years. They are believed to be early ancestors of the Khoi San people of southern Africa. The region is blessed with numerous natural caves and rock shelters many of which were inhabited by early KhoiSan people over thousands of years. The shelters are home to remarkably well-preserved archaeological deposits and fine examples of rock art. 

The paintings appear to be in a similar 'style' throughout the region and the dominant colour is red and maroon-red with black, yellow and white present to a lesser degree. To the inexperienced eye the art may reflect depictions of hunting, running and fighting, but on closer examination one would notice that these scenes contain other aspects which illustrate the rituals, myths and beliefs of the painters. One such example is that human figures are often painted in strange positions with lines from their noses, and sometimes with animal features. As most of the painted images are believed to be related to the San shamanistic experience, these strange postures are interpreted as shamans entering a trance state during ritual dances. Women in 'dancing postures and/or clapping', which are reminiscent of these dances, are often associated with “trance figures”. For the painters, animals had far more value than just meat.

They believed that each animal had its own spiritual power, some more than others. For example, the eland in the Drakensberg played an important role in San rituals. For the greater Baviaanskloof region such an animal could have been the elephant, because it appears frequently on the shelter walls. Other images may include handprints, finger dots, geometric signs, 'nets' and many other images, each with its own particular symbolic meaning.

There are numerous signs and sites that are evidence of the early human inhabitants; to date over 200 heritage sites have been located in the area and it is believed that this only represents 10% of those in existence. Of all the many remarkable archaeological finds made over the years, the mummified remains of a San hunter-gatherer is by far the most unique. The body of a male of 30-40 years old was buried in the traditional flexed position some 2 000 years ago.

He was between 145 and 155 cm tall. A large flat stone with San paintings was placed on top of the body. Most of the body, between the pelvis and the skull was covered with a thick layer of leaves of a medicinal plant, called Boophane disticha ('gifbol', poisonous bulb or izchwe). This plant is still widely used by indigenous peoples throughout southern Africa. A thin rope made of the fibres of the plant Cyperus Textilis was found around the feet and pelvis area. Presumably the body was tied up in the flex position before burial. The remains were removed and transported in toto to the Albany Museum to be studied with the permission of the KhoiSan communities in the Eastern Cape.

Due to the sensitive nature of the find, the remains will not be displayed and eventually the local communities will determine the final destiny of his remains.

Please note: South Africa has a unique and non-renewable archaeological heritage. Archaeological sites, including those with rock paintings, are protected by the National Heritage Resources Act (Act No. 25 of 1999). No person without a permit issued by a relevant heritage authority may destroy, damage, or disturb any archaeological site or collect any material. Many of the rock art sites are on private farm land, and arrangements to visit them should be made with the farm owners. The Friends of the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area (FOBWA) have put together a request of dos and don’ts for visitors entering the Baviaanskloof.

 

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Open Africa Routes

A route is a cluster of travel attractions, accommodation, tour operators, local artisans, guides and restaurants. It brings people together from all levels of community to promote travel to their area. You select what interests you on a route and create your own itinerary.

Subroutes

Coastal Gateway Route
Gamtoos Valley Route
Heritage Route
Langkloof Route
Steytlerville Scenic Rout...
Western Gateway Route
Willowmore Gateway Route

South Africa - Eastern Cape

South Africa - Eastern Cape

The Baviaanskloof Route is an eclectic mix of nature, culture, agriculture and communities. The route has seven equally diverse sub-routes to explore.

Tags

mountains kareedouw eastern-cape joubertina 4x4 jeffreys-bay hankey baviaanskloof birding khoi-san patensie culture willowmore coast steytlerville

 

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